I Don't Eat My Friends

{13/10/2009}   Southern Chili

Being from the south I’d have to say the thing I miss the most (since moving to the north) is the flavors. You could walk into any restaurant and be greeted with delicious food that (even in chain stores like “waffle house”) you cannot get in the north. No, not even a Waffle House up north comes close to one in the south. It’s also sad to say that I am the only one in my house who can cook southern food (I learned from Granny M (May she rest in peace) and my dad whenever I go down to visit him). It also sucks that a lot of southern food ….ok ALL southern food uses a lot of animal products. So it’s a little painstaking to try and “Veganize” every recipe, but oh sooo worth it when it comes out right. Right now, as I put of my biology homework, Im making southern chili. One of my favorite winter foods.

Having learned to cook from my Granny M (who would prepare so much food we had to invite the neighbors to finish. Forget leftovers, since she cooked like that every meal, it would be impossible to ever finish it all) I tend to cook waaay too much food. So I usually just ‘eyeball’ and ‘to taste’ everything. It’s also nice because (having school and work) I dont alway have time to cook so I can just pull leftovers out for some of my meals.
(I usually make 4-5 times this since my family gulps half of it down right after (and sometimes before) its cooked, and like I said, I like leftovers.) I also prefer spicier foods then most people (my mom and dad for example) so I’ll turn down the spiceyness for you.

First get a chili pot…..A big pot. One that can hold at least 6-8 cups of water. No…First soak your beans overnight and cook in the morning (unless your one of those canned beans people. Then ignore this step and go get some canned beans after you get the pot) Then get the pot.
Then heat up about 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add in one…medium (or so) chopped onion, 2 cloves chopped garlic, and 1-2 jalapeno pepper (chopped). Stirring occasionally for 2 minutes (or until soft). Then add 1-2 teaspoons cumin (I add more cause I LOOOVE cumin), 1/4 (or more you wimps) of chili powder, one 6 ounce can tomato past and one 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes (I prefer whole peeled tomatoes and then just dice them myself but whatever, be lazy :P). Now here is the part you do on your own. I like to add 3 different kinds of beans, some okra, some corn, cilantro, and whatever else sounds good. (the more you add the more “meaty” it gets) But it’s really up to you. Throw in however much of it you want. Oh! But if you arent using any frozen or fresh vegetables add in a bit of water instead. Stir and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to a simmer and cover.

Now the hard part, simmer for at least 2-3 hours and stir occasionally. The longer it cooks the better it gets, the more the flavors mix, the better it gets, the better it gets, the better it gets, ect. I call this the hard part becaues….well lets face it, soon your house will fill with a delicious aroma that you cant eat. And you’ll be soo tempted to eat some before it reaches its peak (like mom and Pat….They steal some of the food/ingredients before the foods ready all the time…I HATE that).
Just an fyi: I have never used measurments when making my chili, so it always turns out slightly different. Anywhere from spiceyness to slightly different tastes (depending on what and how much I add) But its always delicious! So results may vary.

And now I have about…another 3 hours untill I go to taste test the chili…..and a bio test to study for, and a few pappers to write. Damn, who even needs to KNOW the in depth workings of sexual reproductive cell meiosis? Im going to be a dietition not a geneticist.

…oh! And if there is anyone out there who has a veganized version of a southern classic I would LOOVE to give that recipie a try.


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